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Edgar Injap Sia II, CEO of DoubleDragon Properties Corporation

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Edgar “Injap” Sia II, 39, was born in Iloilo City in 1977 and grew up in Roxas City, Capiz province. He is the eldest of three siblings. Despite Injap being a true-blue provincial guy and unfamiliar with the ins and out of the more complex business environment of the Philippine capital, he made sure he is able to learn and adapt fast. He had his elementary, high school and college education all in the province. But he strongly believed that his provincial background having the grassroots knowledge that he learned on the ground can become his advantage. At 26 years of age in 2003, he started from scratch the fast-food chain Mang Inasal and grew it from a humble branch in Iloilo City to 338 branches nationwide within the first seven years of operations. It was at this point in October 2010 that Jollibee Foods Corporation acquired 70% of Mang Inasal for p3 Billion Pesos ($68m USD), and in April 2016 he sold the remaining 30% of Mang Inasal to Jollibee for p2 Billion Pesos ($41m USD), enabling Injap to cash in a total of p5 Billion pesos ($109m USD) from the Mang Inasal venture that he started from one simple branch 12 years ago. As a result of his careful planning, clear visioning, thorough business design and passionate execution, Mang Inasal today continues to shine, Mang Inasal remains to be one of the largest and most recognized fast- food chain in the country with over 450 stores nationwide and generates over p12 Billion Pesos in system-wide sales revenue and also consistently showing double-digit same store sales growth year-on-year.

In 2012, two years after the successful first acquisition of Jollibee Foods Corp of Mang Inasal, Injap and his siblings together with Tony Tan Caktiong and his siblings, decided to embark on another partnership capitalizing on the growth potential of the property business sector in the Philippines. Thus, in 2012, DoubleDragon Properties Corp was born with a clear vision of accumulating a total of 1 Million square meters of leasable space by year 2020. Injap having been born in the province in a family operating grocery retail for over 40 years now, he has an innate understanding of the retail behavior and progression of economic activity in these provincial areas. It is this understanding and experience that has catapulted DoubleDragon’s community mall chain “CityMall” to be the apparent dominant leader in the Philippine community mall industry. DoubleDragon’s other major subsidiaries are DD Meridian Park Development Corp and Hotel of Asia Inc.

DoubleDragon embarks on real estate projects that will allow it to build up its recurring rental income as well as accumulate a string of various appreciating property hard assets in various prime areas across the country.

Today, DoubleDragon is one of the actively traded listed property companies in the Philippine Stock Exchange with a market capitalization of over p100 Billion pesos ($2 Billion USD).

For the past few years, Injap’s entrepreneurial skills has been recognized by many institutions including his alma mater, in 2012 the University of San Agustin Iloilo has conferred him a Doctorate Degree Honoris Causa Major in Management.

In 2016 this year he was also listed 17th in the Forbes Magazine 50 Richest Filipino with net worth of p58 Billion Pesos ($1.2 Billion USD) and at 39 years old is the youngest and the only one below age 40 on the list.

As a self-made new generation entrepreneur, Injap is a proof that despite given today’s highly competitive business environment where most traditional industries like fast-food or real estate are already dominated by the old giant players for many decades, one can still successfully breakthrough if one will strive very hard, dream big, and execute the set goal with intense passion. He is aggressive but remains sharp in his calculations. His deep grit, passion, determination, sincerity and resourcefulness enabled him to disrupt the industry that he chooses to compete in, and successfully lead and navigate his team towards its set goals. Injap also continues to further hone his business skills as he moves forward by having additional experiences and valuable learnings mainly from his dealings with many seasoned older business tycoons in the country, many of whom eventually became his business partners.

Over the years he has discovered that creating business ventures that creates a lasting positive impact to the lives of other people is his mission in life. Listing DoubleDragon in the stock market for him is one of the best things that happened in his business journey because it enabled him to further widen the positive effect that his efforts are able to reach.

Injap has also proven a point that inspires many budding provincial entrepreneurs, that a provincial new player can still greatly succeed in highly mature industries in a short span of time via the old-fashioned way of building a business from scratch brick by brick as he did in two different and highly competitive fast-food and real estate traditional industries that are already dominated by many established large big players for many decades.

With all his success, Injap continously give pride to his fellow Ilonggos and Capiznons. He also serves as an inspiration to all the probinsyano (provincial) entrepreneurs around the country.

He also showed a good example with his continued efforts in giving back to the society in various forms such as the donation of the 4-storey Iloilo City Community College Building, the Catholic Parish Church Building in Cagay, Roxas City, the rebuilding of the Public Plaza of Tanauan Leyte, and the Pavillion in Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm in Bulacan, among others. The businesses that he started just a few years ago from his plain imagination to complex real businesses is also another way that enables him to help the society as his entrepreneurship ventures now directly and indirectly employs over 30,000 decent jobs nationwide.

Callum Connects

Jasmine Tan, Director of Stone Amperor

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Jasmine saves her clients time and effort when doing kitchen fit outs with her biz Stone Amperor.

What’s your story?
I started working in the industry in 2003. I was in a marble and granite supplier company for 5 years. Even though I left the company, I still had customers calling me for my services. I referred them back to my previous company but they refused to because they loved the fast response service that I offered. I realised that customers do look at prices, however most of them prefer quality over quantity. Thus I have decided to establish a sole proprietor company also known as 78 Degrees which later rebranded as Stone Amperor in 2014.

What excites you most about your industry?
The kitchen countertop industry is a very confusing market. There are many brands, materials and prices to choose from. What excites me the most is my ability to help clients choose the best materials and brands within their budgets, whilst saving them time and effort.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I have been in Asia all my life and I love Asia. No matter where you go there is no place like home.


Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
I love Singapore. This is because Singapore has always been a stable country and it is great for doing business. However as it is a small country, it can be really competitive. I believe that if just do your best and give your best to your customers, you can overcome this.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“Take actions. Learn and improve continuously. An idea without action is just a dream.” This was really good advice that I received from my partner.

Who inspires you?
A very down to earth billionaire from Malaysia, Robert Kuok

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Property is the foundation of every business.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Own instead of renting property for my business.

How do you unwind?
I enjoy going shopping, watching movies and hanging out with friends. I am quite a simple being.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I love going to Taiwan as I love the culture there. Everyone is so polite and the weather is great.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Sun Tzu, Art of war

Shameless plug for your business:
Perfect top, Perfect price, Perfect life from Stone Amperor

How can people connect with you?
Email me at [email protected]

Twitter handle?
@StoneAmperor

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

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Callum Connects

Dextre Teh, Founder of Rebirth Academy

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Dextre Teh is a consultant and marketing guru, helping F&B businesses to tighten their operations and grow their businesses.

What’s your story?
I help frustrated F&B business owners stuck in day to day operation transform from a glorified operator into a real business owner. I’m a 27 year old Singaporean second generation restaurant owner and a F&B business consultant. Entering the industry at 13 years old, I have always been obsessed with operations and systemisation. At the age of 25, I joined the insurance industry and earned a six figure yearly income. However, I left the high pay behind because it was not my passion and returned to the F&B industry. Now I help other F&B companies to tighten operations and grow their businesses with my consulting and marketing services.

What excites you most about your industry?
The food. I’m a big lover of food and even have a YouTube show on food in development. But that aside, it is really about impacting people through food. Creating moments and memories for people, be it a dating couple or families or friends. Providing that refuge from the daily grind of life. So in educating my consulting clients and training their staff to provide a better experience for their customers, I aim to shift the industry in the direction of creating memories instead of just selling food.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born and bred in Singapore. I love the culture, the food and travelling in Asia.

Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore hands down. The environment here is built for businesses to thrive. The government is pro business and the infrastructure is built around supporting business growth. Not to mention the numerous amount of grants available in helping people start and even grow business. If I’m not mistaken, the Singaporean government is the only government in the world that offers grants to home grown businesses for overseas expansion.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Learning to do things you do not intend to master is a BIG mistake in business. Focus on what you are good at and pay others to do the rest.

Many business owners including myself are so overwhelmed by the 10,000 things that they feel they need to do everyday. We try to do everything ourselves because we think it saves us money. The only thing that, that does for us is overload our schedules and give us mediocre results. Instead we should focus on what we do best and bring in support for the rest.

Who inspires you?
Christopher M Duncan.

At 29, Chris has built multiple 7 figure businesses. He opened me to the possibility of building a business on the thing that I loved and gave me a blueprint of how to do it. He also showed me that being young doesn’t mean you cannot do great things.

Imran Mohammad and Fazil Musa
They are my mentors and inspire me every single day to pursue my dreams, to focus on celebrating life and enjoying the process of getting to where I want to be.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Time is always more expensive than money. Money, you can earn over and over again but time, once you spend it, will never come back.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I am a firm believer that your experiences shape who you are. I am grateful for every single moment of my life be it the highs or the lows, the successes and the failures because all these experiences have led me to become the person I am and brought me to the place that I’m at so I will probably do things the same way as everything was perfect in its time.

How do you unwind?
Chilling out in a live music bar with a drink in hand, listening to my favourite live band, 53A. Other than that I’m big on retail therapy, buying cool and geeky stuff.

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bangkok. It feels like a home away from home where the cost of living is relatively low, the food is good and the people are friendly.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Everything you know about business is wrong by Alastair Dryburgh. It is a book that challenges commonly accepted business “truths” and inspires you to go against the grain, think different, take risks and stand your ground in the face of the challenges that will come your way as a business owner.

Shameless plug for your business:
I’m the creator of the world’s first Chilli Crab Challenge. It gained viral celebrity earlier this year with 3 major newspaper features and more than a dozen blog and online publications featuring it in the span of two weeks. In the span of the two weeks, the campaign reached well over a million people in exposure without a single cent spent in ads.

Now I help F&B companies to tighten operations, increase profits and grow their businesses with my consulting and marketing services. Chilli Crab Challenge (https://www.chillicrab.com/nationalday)

How can people connect with you?
You can connect with me on Facebook (www.facebook.com/djtehkh) or visit www.rebirthacademy.sg for more information or book a 10 minute call with me @ www.tinyurl.com/dexclar

This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews

Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
linkedin.com/in/callumlaing
Download free copies of his books here: www.callumlaing.com

Continue Reading

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